Swedish/Issaquah debuts childbirth center, other offerings

October 31, 2011

By Warren Kagarise

Swedish/Issaquah opens 80 patient beds and offers additional services to patients Tuesday. By Greg Farrar

NEW — 7 p.m. Oct. 31, 2011

Swedish/Issaquah starts to offer more services — including childbirth and inpatient surgeries — Tuesday morning as the last portion of the 550,000-square-foot campus opens to patients.

The additional phase means 80 patients beds open, too. Plans call for Swedish/Issaquah to include up to 175 patient beds as needs arise.

“With Phase 2 now complete, we’re proud to offer the full complement of services to our patients in the growing Eastside communities,” Kevin Brown, chief strategic officer, senior vice president and chief administrative officer of Swedish/Issaquah, said in a statement issued Monday. “Our goal has always been to bring health care closer to home. Starting Tuesday, we will begin doing just that by offering the community access to the full array of inpatient and outpatient services.”

The hospital plans to roll out additional services at 7 a.m. Tuesday — 110 days after the initial phase opened to patients amid much fanfare.

Swedish/Issaquah received a splashy reception in early July, as city leaders and residents celebrated the initial phase. The summer opening encompassed a medical office building, a cancer center and a light-filled atrium flanked by a Starbucks and a restaurant, Café 1910 — named for the year a Swedish physician founded the hospital system.

In addition to the 80 patient beds, the latest phase marks the debut for the Swedish/Issaquah Childbirth Center. The center includes more than 100 medical professionals for the eight labor, delivery and recovery rooms. The facility also features postpartum suites.

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The unit for surgical inpatients also comes online Tuesday. The rooms include pullout couches for family members and safety features, such as rail from the bed to the bathroom, for patients.

“From the beginning, we were confident this new hospital could be a model for the latest innovations in health care delivery,” Dr. John Milne, vice president for medical affairs at Swedish/Issaquah, emergency medicine physician and Issaquah resident, said in a statement. “Our goals were to combine advanced technologies, reduced energy consumption and lower operating costs, while delivering the best health-care services available. The new facility is an innovative example of how this can be done.”

The hospital came about in response to a growing number of patients at a former standalone Swedish ER near Lake Sammamish. In the year before construction started on Swedish/Issaquah, the standalone ER registered more than 50,000 patient visits.

Nearly 5,500 patients received treatment in the Swedish/Issaquah ER since July 14, after officials shut down the standalone ER.

The additional ER services available at Swedish/Issaquah from Tuesday onward mean emergency responders can transport more patients to the ER rather than other Eastside and Seattle hospitals.

“This facility is ushering in an exciting new wave of extending primary care and specialty medical services closer to where people live and work,” Dr. Lily JungHenson, Swedish/Issaquah chief of staff, said in a statement. “I am proud to help bring the quality of health care we have been providing at our medical centers in Seattle to the Eastside.”

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